Keeping Your Child’s Mouth Healthy

(image from: https://www.pensacoladentist.us/page/Making-Your-Children-Comfortable-with-Good-Oral-Health-Care)

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Many parents have a difficult time navigating how much dental care they should be providing their kids. They know the goal is to prevent cavities, but many parents do not always know the best ways to do that. If you find yourself struggling to keep your kid’s mouth clean, here are some tips for you to keep your child’s mouth healthy.

When Should Kids Start Brushing?

Just because you don’t see teeth, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Teeth begin forming during the second trimester of pregnancy. So, dental hygiene should begin before your baby’s first tooth even emerges. Here’s how to care for those tiny teeth:

  • Even before teething begins, run a damp, clean washcloth over their gums to get rid of any bacteria that could be harmful
  • Brush baby teeth with an infant toothbrush. Use water and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste
  • Once your child’s teeth begin touching, then you can start flossing them. 
  • Around 2 years old, spitting while brushing should be something your child is doing. This prevents them from swallowing anything potentially harmful
  • Always supervise kids younger than 8 because kids love to swallow toothpaste

When Should They See a Dentist?

It is recommended that children see a dentist by the time they turn 1. The dentist will explain proper brushing and flossing techniques and do a small exam. These visits help find early problems and allow your child to get used to the dentist early on. Parkfield Dental has a lot of options and treatment plans for you and your family to be taken care of. If your child seems to be at risk for cavities or other oral health problems, the dentist may start applying fluoride topically before teeth even emerge. This hardens the tooth enamel and aids in your child’s overall dental health. 

How do I Prevent Cavities?

When bacteria and food left on teeth after eating aren’t brushed away, cavities happen. Keeping them away isn’t too hard, though.

  • Start practicing good oral hygiene early. 
  • Use enough fluoride. Fluoride toughens enamel, which makes it harder for acid to penetrate and cause cavities.
  • Avoid or limit certain foods. Foods filled with sugar, fruit juices, and candy make enamel erode faster and cause cavities. 

Caring for your teeth is important for everyone, but starting healthy habits early will help ensure that your child has fewer problems down the line. Forming habits is much easier on smaller children, so if you get them started young enough, taking care of their teeth will become second nature for them. Keep on brushin’!

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